If you're traveling to Colorado for the state's nearly endless year-round adventure activities, or even just for business, there's a good chance you can fly into Denver International Airport. The state's premier hub and one of the busiest airports in the world, Denver Airport handles nearly 100 million passengers a year.
So where do all these passengers go when they arrive at the airport? The airport offers a variety of transport options to reach the city and beyond, from a commuter train to public transport. However, it also gives you access to 10 major car rental companies. Car rental agencies have lots on airport grounds. They can be accessed via the bus from Terminal Jeppesen, Level 5 and Island 4.
However, with 10 different airport car rental companies to choose from, how do you choose the right supplier for your travel needs? Here's everything you need to know about the top 5 car rental companies at Denver International Airport.
Before booking your Denver car rental, browse ourThe best websites to book cheap rental carsguide and ourHow to find and book cheap rental carstutorial. Our recommendation is to useRentalCars.com. And if you're flying into Denver, check out ourThe best websites to book cheap flightsguide.
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With over 3,000 Google reviews and an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars,Alamo is one of the highest rated car rental companiesat the Denver airport. Open from 4 am. until 11:45 pm, the rental company receives comments such as “We rented at the Alamo branch at the Denver airport and had a wonderful experience! The process was very easy (we used the skip the counter option by providing our card prior to arrival). We also asked to pick up our car an hour earlier and they kindly allowed us to do so, free of charge! The car was in good condition [and] clean. The return was quick/easy and the bus arrived quickly at the airport terminal. We will definitely rent here again.”
Alamo's Denver Airport location offers a self-service kiosk, fast check-in and the previously mentioned no-counter service for faster, easier travel. There are also after-hours pick-up and drop-off services if you arrive between midnight and 4am.
Alamo is one of the most affordable car rental companies in the country.
Benefits:Alamo offers low rates and additional services to make the registration process faster and easier.
Contras:If you're a frequent flyer, Alamo's rewards program isn't as robust, so you might want to choose another provider if you're specifically looking to earn rewards benefits.
But while the number of Google reviews and the Alamo ranking for the Denver airport is admirable,Enterprise admits it surprised Alamo. With nearly 8,000 Google reviews and a 4.4-star rating, the provider delivers a standard of excellence that frequent travelers know and love. Keep in mind, however, that while the Enterprise has a higher rating and more reviews at Denver Airport than the Alamo, the Enterprise is generally more expensive. This is always something to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Another way Enterprise stands out from other Denver airport car rental companies? It offers one of the best rewards and loyalty programs on the market. You can move up through multiple levels of loyalty and premium status, earn points, and even convert those points into miles in your favorite frequent flyer program.
The Enterprise location at the Denver Airport is open from 6 am to 5 pm. m. at 23:45 m. You'll notice that it's open a little later than the Alamo, but it's possible to return after hours. Pickup service is not available at this location.
Benefits:This Enterprise location is highly rated and frequently used and offers an amazing loyalty program that frequent travelers love.
Contras:Enterprise isn't as affordable as some of the other car rental providers on our list, and it's not open as early as some of the other providers at the Denver airport.
Sixt is a car rental company founded in Europeat Denver International Airport, which works well with online reviewers. Recent reviewers report receiving additional benefits like free car upgrades. Many say the registration and check-in process takes less than five minutes. The Denver location is open from 5 am to 5 pm. m. until midnight, although return services are available 24 hours a day. The place offers a variety of vehicles, from family SUVs to luxury cars. Being a company founded in Europe, Sixt is known for offering many German brands, but also a handful of American luxury vehicles.
Sixt offers a variety of special offers and savings depending on where you rent, so it's worth considering before booking. Sixt's loyalty program offers several tiers, and depending on how often you rent, you may qualify for additional benefits such as free upgrades, free additional drivers and general discounts on your rental. Members of the Sixt loyalty program can expect faster check-in, more vehicle options and access to special discounts.
Benefits:Sixt is a top-rated rental company offering a range of luxury vehicles and SUVs.
Contras:Sixt's loyalty program isn't as robust as Enterprise's loyalty program. Also, Sixt doesn't rank as high on Google for its Denver airport location as Enterprise or Alamo.
like Enterprise,idiotsis one of the best-known car rental companies in the United States, with one of the best loyalty programs. Bear in mind, though, that Hertz doesn't have as many glowing reviews for its Denver International Airport location as Enterprise does. With a 3.5-star rating and over 4,000 reviews, consistent review trends include praise for high-quality cars, but also complaints about a lack of available cars and long waits. In other words, renting with Hertz isn't your worst option at Denver International Airport, but it can be a little tricky depending on when you arrive.
The Denver Airport Hertz location is open from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm. m. at 2 am m., so it is open much later than its competitors. Please note that there are some payment restrictions at this specific location. The Hertz website says, specifically at Denver International Airport, “there are some restrictions on debit card use. To qualify for a debit card rental, you must provide proof of return flight from an airline that matches your rental and present two valid forms of identification. You can use a debit card if it is already included in your Gold Plus Rewards profile or if the rental is an insurance replacement rental. Regardless of the card used to book and pick up the vehicle, debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of the rental.”
Hertz offers a variety of vehicles and lets you manage your rental through the convenient Hertz app.
Benefits:Hertz is open much later than other airport car rental companies and also offers a range of vehicles at typically pleasant prices, even if they are not within your budget. Hertz also offers a good loyalty program.
Contras:Customer experiences at Hertz are a bit up in the air. Some are fine, while others include long waits.
While Avis may not rank as highly as the other providers on this list, it certainly tops some of the worst performing Denver airport car rental providers. If you find all of the above booked, go with Avis before going to any of the other guys.
Avis offers many discounts and special offers, and the Avis rewards program allows you to earn points and miles with other hotel and airline loyalty programs, such as American Airlines. You also get additional discounts if you join certain Avis partners like AARP.
The Avis location at the Denver airport is open 24 hours, which certainly sets it apart from its competitors. Avis also offers Preferred service onsite. This allows you to simply take the shuttle bus from the airport terminal to the Avis Preferred car park, after which you can check in with an app, pick up your car and go. If not, you'll need to sign in with a team member.
Benefits:Avis offers a variety of additional discounts and benefits through partner providers and the Denver Airport location is open 24 hours a day.
Contras:Reviewers report that customer service at this location isn't the best and wait times are sometimes long.
Considering a new credit card before your trip to Denver? Explore our guide toThe best car rental credit cards. Also, check out our guide to theThe best credit cards for car insurance.
frequently asked questions
Where are car rental companies located at Denver International Airport?
You must take a shuttle bus to the Denver International Airport car rental car parks. The bus will pick you up at Jeppesen Terminal, Level 5 and Island 4, accessed through doors 505–513 on the east side or 504–512 on the west side.
Can I rent a car elsewhere in Denver outside the airport?
Yes, you can find a variety of car rental companies throughout the Denver area, so you're not limited to just renting a car at the airport. If you prefer to drive into town and then rent a car after checking into your hotel, you can. You'll find vendors spread across Denver, with offerings from many of the top vendors located at the airport. Expect Enterprise, Hertz, Sixt, and others.
Do I need to rent a car to get around Denver?
You are welcome! There are several ways to get to and from the Denver airport without having to hop in a rental car.
The A-Line commuter train operates between downtown Denver and the airport. Trains run every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes from 3am to 5pm. m. at 5 am m. and from 6:30 pm. at 1 am m. Tickets are $10.50 per day.
Car-sharing providers Avail and Turo allow travelers to borrow cars from local owners if they want the convenience of a private car without the hassle of a car rental company. The airport has a partnership with both brands and you can take a transfer from the airport to the Avail office.
Charter buses pick up travelers at Jeppesen Terminal, Level 5 if you want to get around there.
More than a dozen hotel buses take travelers to a variety of hotels, all within a 10-mile radius of the airport. Hotel buses pick up travelers from Jeppesen Terminal Level 5, Island 3, and from outer gates 505–507 on the east side and 510–512 on the west side.
Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.
Do I have to pay tolls when I rent a car at Denver International Airport?
Yes, you will need to pay tolls if you drive on toll roads throughout Colorado while in a rental car.
However, you will not need a transponder in your car to pay toll fees. Instead, according to the Colorado Public Highway Authority, “If you are not an ExpressToll customer, you automatically become a license plate toll customer when driving a rental vehicle on a Colorado toll road. Cameras will photograph the front and rear license plate and an extract will be generated and sent to the rental company. You will get this bill from the car rental agency.”
However, if you are already an ExpressToll customer (which would be more likely if you live in or visit Colorado frequently), you can add a rental car to your ExpressToll account, allowing you to bypass the car rental agency and pay your tolls on the rental car directly.
Also, it's important to note that while you don't need a transponder to collect tolls in a rental car, some rental companies install transponders in cars anyway. If this is the case with your specific rental agency, a fixed toll fee will be charged. This eliminates the need for the rental company to charge you later. The fixed toll rate differs depending on the provider.
Is it worth renting a car in Denver?
It completely depends on what you plan to do while in town. If you plan to head straight into downtown Denver and then explore the surrounding area, you might not get much out of your rental car. Instead, you can simply take the commuter train from the airport to the city center and from there use rideshare services or public transport. However, if you plan to further expand your explorations, you may need to hire a car to get out of town.
Do I need insurance to rent a car in Denver?
No, you do not need rental car insurance when renting a car in Denver, Colorado. The rental provider will include your minimum coverage as part of your contract. You can upgrade insurance from there.
Editorial Disclosure:The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the entities included in the publication.
Holly Riddle is a freelance travel, food and lifestyle journalist who is also interested in ghostwriting and fiction. Her work appears in publications ranging from Global Traveler to Golf Magazine, Mashed to Forbes and Bloomberg. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in the Adirondacks. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago and New Orleans.